The Democratic National Convention may be boosting Charlotte’s overall economy, but I wouldn’t tell that to the families who’ve been forced to leave the hotels they were staying in to make room for out-of-towners.
To cash in on the influx of visitors, low-rate motels and hotels have jacked up prices, forcing the families living there to move out. Lakia Ramsey, 26, and her two children, 4 and 2, are just one family who suffered this fate. She was staying in a motel that was $200 a week, but with the DNC there, they jacked the price up to $150 a NIGHT.
Family homelessness shot up by nearly 40% in 2010, and another 20% in 2011, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Some of these families are able to afford rooms in extended stay motels thanks to a part-time job or support from family members. “These are folks who are on the edge of homelessness and they’re eking out an existence,” said Dale Mullenix, executive director of the Urban Ministry Center, a homeless services organization.
Belinda Cherry, 41, and her husband Steven haven’t even found a church to live in.With his salary as a part-time dishwasher, they had been able to afford a room at the Arlington Suites on South Tryon St., the same motel where Ramsey was bunking down. But after the hotel ratcheted up its rates, Cherry and her husband, seen below, were left sleeping atop a cement loading dock outside an abandoned brick building.
“I’m really pissed off,” said Cherry. “We were just now getting on our feet.” Her husband, Steven, voted for Obama in 2008 and plans to do so again, but still he wondered when help would arrive for people like him.
I’m lilD, and that’s the Word Eye Heard. So…who’s going to speak for these people….?